This film is part of Free

Racing on the Menai Strait

Only a dull land lubber could fail to appreciate these yachts in full sail, and the steam yacht Minona (later Richard Burton’s ‘Kalizma’)!

Home movie 1930 7 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


These 5 short films offer superb shots of sail boats at various locations around Anglesey: Puffin Island, the Gazelle Hotel near Glyngarth, Bangor’s Garth Pier, Trwyn Du Lighthouse at Penmon Point, Penmon Quarry, the Britannia Bridge, Holyhead Breakwater Lighthouse, and Twr Bach and Twr Mawr lighthouses, Llanddwyn. The highlight, though, is the elegant steam yacht Minona, later bought by Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor and re-named Kalizma!

These films were shot by Isla Johnston whose home - ‘Bryn Mêl’, Glyngarth – overlooked the Menai Strait. Daughter of Edmund Johnston, owner of the Liverpool-based Johnston Line shipping company [from 1934 the Johnston-Warren Lines company], Isla loved cars and boats, often racing in the latter, and filmed and photographed sailing and other local events. The 5 films appear in this order: Bangor Racing May 26th (1930s), Beaumaris Racing (1932), Race Around Puffin Island (1933), On the Swillies (1929) and Minona (1931). The Minona (aka Cortynia and Odysseia), launched in 1906, was used by the Navy in both WWI and WWII before its acquisition by Richard Burton in 1967.